Thursday, August 18, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs HP Touchpad vs Apple Ipad 2 head to head review

AS TIME GOES BY the tablet market just keeps on growing, with devices appearing in all shapes and sizes from just about every manufacturer you can think of. Since Apple launched the original Ipad, countless tablets have hit the shelves with the aim of knocking it off the top spot.
We're going to take a look at three of the big name, top-end devices including Apple's second generation Ipad and two of its big rivals, the HP Touchpad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, to see how they fare against each other.
Displays and Weights
Two of the tablets in this trio have a 9.7in screen, the Touchpad and Ipad 2, while the Galaxy Tab offers a little bit of extra real estate at 10.1in. Resolutions sit at 1024x768 for the 9.7in tablets and 1280x800 for the 10.1in.
All three have decent screens with each displaying a crisp and clear picture. The Touchpad suffers from a lack of brightness and the Galaxy Tab is difficult to view in bright sunlight, meaning that the Ipad 2 wins in this area with its stunning display.
Size-wise the Ipad 2 and Galaxy Tab are neither here nor there, with the latter only 0.2mm thinner and 36g lighter at 8.8mm and 565g. They are the lightest and thinnest tablets in their class. Unfortunately the HP Touchpad needs to go on a crash diet to compete and is rather bulky at 13.7mm and 740g. If this is important to you, then you can forget about the Touchpad
hp touchpad browser      

Performance and Hardware
A dual-core processor can be found in each of the tablets, with the Ipad 2 and Galaxy Tab clocked at 1GHz and the Touchpad marginally in front at 1.2GHz. Not that it has any effect on the performance but the Ipad 2 has 512MB of RAM, whereas the Touchpad and Galaxy Tab have 1GB.
On paper the Touchpad is the best, but when it came down to it, this wasn't the case. We found that it occasionally took some time to load applications and to rotate the screen orientation. The Samsung performed well and only struggled when we scrolled quickly on web pages. The Ipad 2 didn't show any of these signs of lag and is the best out of the three for overall performance.
Multi-tasking isn't the Ipad 2's strongest point and was out done by the Touchpad's WebOS operating system. The Touchpad uses a ‘cards' system for open tabs, which are viewed horizontally and can be rearranged and stacked on top of each other. Open apps continue to run when non-fullscreen.
The Samsung, running on Android, is also good at multi-tasking and is also better than the Ipad 2 for this. It isn't quite as good as the Touchpad though, with only a small side menu of open apps.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
top casing shot of samsung galaxy tab 10
If storage is important, then Samsung and Apple both offer up to 64GB of internal storage but HP only offers a maximum of 32GB. All three come in 16GB and 32GB versions but none have an SD card slot so choose your capacity wisely.
If you're a keen photographer and want your tablet to be able to take good photos, then the Samsung wins in this area by a long way with its 3MP rear facing camera that has a flash. This took excellent photos with our only complaint being the slightly sluggish shooting speed.
The Ipad has rather a poor rear facing camera that may as well not be there and the HP doesn't have one on the back at all.
All the tablets have front facing webcams suitable for video conferencing. We don't think this should be a deciding factor though, and we don't quite get why you would seriously want to use a tablet to take photos.

Software and Applications
Moving on from hardware, we have a fight between three different operating systems, two of which are specific to the tablet. The Touchpad runs on WebOS, the Ipad 2 runs on IOS and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs on Android.
The three bring different characteristics to the tablet with all being quite intuitive to use. WebOS is easily the best for multi-tasking with its system of cards and it has great integration capability with things like email calendar and photos. It also features wireless technology called Touchstone, which allows it to recharge without a cable and communicate with HP's Pre 3 smartphone, permitting the Touchpad to make and receive calls and text messages.
Apple's IOS is the most stable of the lot and is a proven operating system on both phones and tablets, but its walled garden ethos won't suit everyone. Android is a good all-rounder which offers good multi-tasking and being an open system means there is more scope for customisation but does run more risk of crashing.
As mentioned, IOS is a closed system compared with Android, which means you can only install apps that Apple approves but in turn this means you can assume they will work as intended without crashing. We think IOS still has the best selection of apps.
apple ipad2 landscape
Android has the advantage of allowing users to install apps not found in the Android Market and obviously works well with Google Apps and Google Mail. WebOS has the worst selection in its App Catalogue, which is in its infancy. HP is doing its best to attract developers, but currently there are only around 7,500 apps to choose from, which is considerably less than its rivals.
Both Android and WebOS get one up on IOS by supporting Flash. This means on the Touchpad and Galaxy Tab 10.1, you can browse web and watch videos without compromise. The Ipad 2 doesn't support Flash so you won't be able to view all web sites properly or view flash videos.
Aside from Flash, browsing the web is good on all the tablets but the HP has got a couple of tricks up its sleeve that make it that little bit better. Firstly, the cards system means that multiple tabs are stacked and flicked between easily. Secondly, its onscreen keyboard is the best out of the three with an extra row for numbers, easy access to punctuation and the fact that it has four different sizes.

Battery life and Price
10 hours is the battery life that Samsung and Apple tout for their tablets, while HP's Touchpad will give out less at 8 hours. We found the battery life to be good on all three devices but the Samsung displayed a poor recharge time.
The cost of the tablets won't help you decide between them because they all have the same price points for equivalent models. WiFi only and 16GB of storage will cost you £399, 32GB will set you back £479 and 64GB a total of £559. It is worth noting that the Touchpad price has now been reduced in the US so this could follow in the UK.
If you're after 3G connectivity then the Ipad 2 is currently your only option out of these three tablets because HP and Samsung are yet to release 3G versions of their tablets. You can add £100 to the WiFi only price for the privilege of 3G.
hp  touchpad keyboard
It can be difficult to decide which is the right tablet to buy. After all, there is a lot of choice and because these three tablets all have their own selling points for the same price point so there is no obvious or clear winner.
In design, the tablets are similar except the HP is considerably more chunky and they all have good screens and perform well. We think the best way to decide between these three tablets is to pick the operating system that best suits your needs.
For users wanting a reliable system with a decent amount of apps, then the Ipad 2 and IOS is the right choice. However, for those who don't want the limitations that IOS brings, then Android and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the better option.
WebOS has its advantages and for users looking for the best multi-tasking and great integration, the Touchpad may be the right tablet, especially if you want to pair it with an HP Pre 3 smartphone. Just remember that applications are currently pretty limited. ยต



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